Being a non-white American abroad it’s often been challenging to explain to people who have never lived in the U.S. about the deeply rooted racism that fuels huge areas of this country, and the subsequent institutionalized violence that sets a stage for gruesome stories that often never make it into international media. Not to mention, the multitude of racial microagressions people of color experience depending on the tone of their skin, from being asked where we’re from to an assumption of criminality or undocumented immigration status, among so many other things that constantly remind us “real” Americans are white and everyone else is an interloper.
Often when trying to explain my own negative experiences in the U.S. — and especially the racism I’ve personally encountered — I was generally and regularly met with disbelief abroad. The America that’s packaged by Hollywood and television media for international consumption is nothing like the America I describe.
And along came Donald Trump, a walking canker sore of oozing bigotry, and proud of it. He has flat-out said what a large segment of American society has wanted in these decades since the Civil Rights Movement, without apology, embarrassment, or shame: LET’S MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN.
With his campaign, Donald Trump has given these hundreds of thousands of individuals new license to be openly racist and bigoted, which has been manifesting in stunningly awful ways.
During this horror show called the 2016 US presidential campaign we have seen Immortan Joe’s, I mean Donald Trump’s followers:
- Hurl racial epithets at a Muslim woman during a rally, leading to her removal.
- Black students on their own college campus escorted out of a rally for the crime of being present.
- Physically and verbally assaulting people of color with extreme prejudice as incited by the candidate, who has also promised to pay any subsequent legal fees.
- Raise their right hands in a Nazi-like salute and allegedly advocate putting Trump dissenters in concentration camps with gas chambers.
- Be members of the Ku Klux Klan publicly supporting the campaign and not be immediately denounced by the candidate.
- Support the building of a wall between the US and Mexico.
- Cheer when Trump claims he’ll kill the families of ISIS members.
- Cheer louder when Trump says he’ll bring back torture.
- Go into a frenzy when Trump says he’ll close US borders to Muslim people altogether.
- Clap in congratulations when Trump confirms that he has “yuge” hands and a correspondingly “yuge” dick, as if any of them had ever doubted it.
- Proudly demonstrate their pure and unbridled hatred towards people of color.
- Actually take photographs wearing shirts that read “Make America White Again.”
And so much more, but I feel sick compiling just this short highlight reel here and seeing the awful in one place, all of which is playing out internationally on the public stage of a presidential campaign.
No longer does America’s seething racist underbelly remain hidden from sight, only visible to those of us in the know. Now everyone in the world has seen it, and it has done its job of undermining America’s position of self-proclaimed human rights champion and world superpower — roles that were accepted by the rest of the world even if they didn’t quite agree.
Donald Trump and his citizen minions have forever changed the perception of the United States both inside and outside, and no matter who gets elected president this year or in the future, the damage Trump has done is irrevocable.
So, thank you, Donald Drumpf, for exposing the ugly heart of this country to the rest of the world.
Thank you for showing us how NOT FAR we have come since the Civil Rights Movement.
Thank you for bringing all the American neo-Nazis out into the open.
Thank you for giving us so much footage of the active racists in this country attending your rallies, speaking in your defense, inflicting violence on people of color.
Thank you for exposing the Hollywood myths about ours, this “land of the free,” where you and your followers believe that only white people should be free and only white people should belong.
Thank you for undermining our national security and making us at new risk to ISIL violence and radicalism. Thank you for showing potential terrorists the faces of people who legitimately hate them simply because of their religion.
Thank you for showing us who to actually fear in this country, and it’s the gun-toting white supremacists who you personally gave permission to come out of those shadows.
Thank you for your proto-facism masquerading as pro-Americanism, because now the entire world knows what kind of America Republicans want: A white supremacy, like it was back in the good old Confederate days before political correctness came along and ruined everything.
Thank you for making a mockery of our democratic process and showing us how NOT to run a campaign; never again will this country be able to promote democracy with a straight face anywhere else in the world after this debacle.
Thank you for reducing what once was the most important leadership position in the world to an absolute laughingstock.
Thank you for revealing America’s rotting abscesses, where we’ve stared into the abyss and it has stared back with undiluted hatred.
Thank you so much, Donald Trump and your verbal diarrhea, for outing America’s racists, bigots, misogynists, homophobes, and hate-mongers. Because now that these bigots are out of that hate closet we know who needs help in this country to be educated about the actual wonders of a modern, pluralistic, civilized and inclusive society based on human compassion and respect.
Oh Donald Lannister, you burst pimple of a human, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for your service to this country. You’ve done a marvelous job shining a bright, orange light on us so the rest of the world can see who we really are. Now that your job is done, feel free to slither back into Trump Tower and stay there.
Here’s another idea, Mr. Trump: Why don’t you buy some land with your billions, start a whites only colony, and take all your racist followers with you. Get the hell out of here so WE can make America great again after all the damage you’ve caused. I hear Siberia is great this time of year.
This piece was originally published at Huffington Post Politics.